11th July I also met up with Kirsty Hewitson last weekend and we discussed our plans for the Eiger 250 which starts next week. This is the website and this is where LiveTracking will be it says I have just received an email today to say that because of the snow and the recent bad weather that the route is liable to change and they will let us know next week at Registration. I do hope we can do as much of the original route as possible. Low level routes are usually pretty tedious! We are flying out on Monday, registration is Tuesday and we start at 8am on Wednesday 17th July. I will post updates on social media.

10th July - Last weekend I set off to the Lakes via Moffat, where I reccied the Moffat Chase (32 km and 2000m ascent) with Wisp, Paddy and Bruce. It was a very long day and I couldn't really complain about the weather although very cold for July. It took 6.30 hours as the route is pretty rough in places and it's going to be an interesting race in August! All of us were pretty glad to get settled into the Lanefoot campsite and await the arrival of Helen Elmore on Friday night.

On Saturday I travelled to Staveley for an Inov8 Athlete day and met up with lots of other Inov8 ambassadors including my good friends Sarah and Paul. It was a very interesting day running through the new designs in the shoes, clothes and bags. I enjoy being part of the testing and feedback process and think that the new ranges will be beneficial to everyone who wants to be in the outdoors however fast and ambitious they are.

On Saturday evening and Sunday Helen and I went for a run with the dogs in the northern fells and spent lots of time catching up.

Photos of the recce, Inov8 day and running with Helen - including a rogue one of Arrochar Alps race!


3rd July - Yesterday Steve decided he would do the Bruce's Crown race route as he's been wanting to ever since the race in April when his team dropped out. He set off at 2am from Caldon's campsite and I met him at Loch Dee at 8am (I was late!!). The early rain looked like it was clearing and Steve was cheery. Tea went down well and I was on a mission to find more. Steve had said he didn't want tea but as usual on these rounds, it's something you don't think you want, but you actually do! I saw him off up the horrid Darrou and drove round to Loch Doon, calling at a cafe on route. I had about 4 hours and I had a plan to recce an "Escape route" off the Corserine ridge. I had read in the Cicerone Walking the Galloway-Hills by Ronald Turnbull guide that there was a route up onto the ridge from Loch Doon so I marked up a map, took a photo of the page I needed and set off determined to be back by 2pm (Steve's eta). Ronald Turnbull is very funny in the book about how good or how rough the routes are and his interpretation of "rough" and "dry" leaves something to be desired but nearly always the routes exist. I set off on the forest track, left the forest track at the correct spot, floundered around in tussocks before making myself head up the forest ride that appeared to be the one he was describing in the book. Low and behold, within a few metres, it was actually an open (ish) ride, with a very wet trod in it and evena few footprints! The ride went on and came to the deforested area with the sheepfold. Bashing across to the sheepfold, I consulted the map and description again hoping for a miracle. I headed to the right of the sheepfold and there unbelievably (it had survived the deforesting) was the "bulldozed ATV track" Ronald was on about. I followed it along the river bank and it then curled round (just like in the drawing map) and joined the big forest road at the top. I wanted to meet Steve on Corserine so bashed uphill on a really rough rocky route (not to be descended) to the ridgeline and Carlin's Cairn summit where I couldn't see Steve so panicked as I thought he was in front of me. I ran ahead but then received a text to say he was at Carlin's Cairn so I waited for him. It was very cold on the ridge - just like summer !!  Steve and I had a chat and after walking with him a little, I went and fetched some water from the Kings Spring for him. I then ran on to Coran of Portmark and down to Loch Doon (CP11) to get the tea brewed. Steve arrived looking a bit worn out but determined to finish. After a break with Steve I drove along the track and made more tea for him before seeing him off up the track to Sheil Hill. I came home and watched for texts. The last one I got was on Merrick at 21.30 hours. After 4 hours of no news I was getting worried and had packed a bag to go and first see if the Amarok was at Caldons and then decide to do from there. As I was about to leave he arrived home. He was very tired, had sore feet but was really happy that he had finished. He thought he'd sent a text from Bruce's Crown at midnight but it hadn't been sent. Next time I'll do Whatsapp location sharing or something!! Steve finished the Bruce's Crown race route in 22 hours! Well done Steve!  Photos of Bruce's Crown - Steve support and "Escape route" recce  

Sunday 30th June - While I was away in Arrochar I learnt of Joss Naylor passing peacefully away with his family by his side. Joss has been a close friend to me for many years, although initially it was me looking up to him, I felt after a while that he also respected me and what I was achieving. He was always so thoughtful and encouraging to me, he gave me the confidence to attempt things that I would never have looked at. Although it is sad that he has passed away I know that for a couple of years he had been missing the mountains so much and so I hope that now he is able to run free again over the lakeland fells that he loved so much, with some of his best dogs by his side.

Saturday 29th June - Arrochar Alps - again after a mixed week of trying to loosen the legs off, not running much as catching up and visiting my parents in Glasgow with Charlie - I really wasn't sure what Arrochar Alps would hold for me. I dropped Charlie at the train station and booked into the campsite in Arrochar. I really felt like hiding in my van and then going for a nice run - not racing what is one of the hardest races I know. There is just something about a 4 mile low level trog out, then straight up a 950m climb, before turning round and heading literally straight down as steep as you can possible go to a dam. And then back up another 850m climb which is boggy and grassy. The descent off this is tricky round cliff faces down to a col before a third huge climb up a soggy mountainside. Then you get a path to descend on - although it's rocky and so off piste is mainly best. And finally a nice path up the last hill before a long, long descent which has everything thrown in it (scrambling, rocks, little man made stone steps, rough slippy path, weird concrete blocks in the middle of the "path" which is actually a stream bed, some brambles and a fair bit of bracken and then forest track) to the finish. I'm not selling this am I? But I was there, the weather was good - ie clear and cool and I wanted the ascent again so off I went to registration. And then to the Start. Being a Scottish Championship there was more runners than a normal year so about 140. Last year there was 42 and it was claggy and raining. So having more runners and a view was a big bonus. I set off along the 4 miles just taking it easy. I was soon on my own which was nice. A few men overtaking everynow and again but generally left to run how I wanted. Up the last section which is road and came to a halt to start the climb. The legs felt oddly ok. I went at the same pace as on the Skyline and tried to take in the views. It was interesting at the top seeing the runners coming back down to a col and it was also great being able to take little grassy shortcuts whereas last year we had stuck to the main path in the clag. Coming back down it was easy navigation. There were runners and even a little trod - but still it was as steep down as ever and I was glad of my Mudclaws! Over the dame with heavy legs and off up the other side. Now I started to catch runners and getting more sweets down I hoped to keep this feeling up. Again off the top navigation was lovely and easy although I managed to go a little too far left before spotting the marshall below. I said a cheery hello to Malcolm Patterson marshalling and up the next hill I hiked. I was looking about and wondering where I had been last year, straight lining everything on a compass bearing on my own!! The top came quickly and so dis the descent. Now it felt like we were nearly done but I knew about that long descent still to come. Across the col and last hill to do. The marshalls were hiding out of the cold wind but we were glad they popped up as it was disconcerting not to see anyone. And then .... down we scrambled, slid, cursed, looked for nicer trods but there weren't any, over the weird concrete blocks, down the stream bed, through rocks and more rocks with brambles - oh the joy! Eventually plonked onto the track and tried to get the legs to run again! I tried to pick my knees up in the vain hope of keeping a young female runner at bay but no she trotted passed me like she was doing a Park Run! Onto the final stretch and a little sprint of sorts! Finished Yay!! Now shower, sandwiches, beer and bed! What joy!!

Saturday 22nd June - morning dawned with low cloud and a little breeze. It was forecast to dry up and not rain - even MWIS said so! So it was shorts and teeshirt for me. Registering only took minutes and it was lovely being so close to the Start/Finish. The start was at 8am and for me it was perfect with a nice uphill gradient that everyone was soon walking. I had decided to take poles as although the race was only 24 miles it had 3400m of climb in it. I had also made myself a rough schedule and hoped for an 8 hour finish. The first climb was 900m to the top of Snowdon, then down and across to Pen y Pass. I was bang on schedule which I was amazed at. Running down to Pen y Pass there was a marshall and I ran with her a little chatting away. On the climb up Glyder Fawr I felt so much better than on the same climb about a year ago on that very hot UTS 100 mile. I was really happy and eating well. Over Glyder Fawr we ran and across to drop to Ogwen. I was glad of my own map as the markers were a bit sparse. We arrived at the checkpoint where there was food and water. I collected some banana and headed off. Up Tryfan I realised we had met the 14 Peaks runners and we chatted away. I was really enjoying the scrambling and chatting to the runners that were letting us pass as they had done more than us and had more than us to come too! Over Tryfan and to the col where we split off from the 14 Peak runners to drop down to the hotel at the road junction. I remembered the photo shoot that I had done on that path a couple of years ago with Damian Hall, Wisp and Joss where Elliot Waring had taken some of the best photos of Joss that I have. As I neared the bottom a lady sped passed me and I wondered where I was in the standings. I was amazed that I felt so good! I thought I would have been dreading the  long climb back up to Snowdon over Crib Goch but I was actually running a little uphill and quite cheery. The temperature was perfect for me. Everynow and again the sun would break through and I would curse but then the wonderful clouds would come back over. Climbing Crib Goch just went om for too long. It was a bit windy and I was tired. I caught a rock with my wrist and it made a lot of blood so I wrapped my buff round it for a while until my hair was too annoying and back on my head the buff went! A local man caught me and he know the good lines so I gratefully followed him and thanked him at the top. Down to the finger post and now just the 900m descent to do to the Finish! I was able to let my legs go and enjoy the last descent. We met other race runners and a nice lady held a gate open for me which was lovely of her. Racing into the finish I was very happy. I hadn't set off with any expectations. The race had a lot of ascent and I wanted that. To feel strong was an added wonderful bonus! Photos (lots of me finishing) at the Snowdon Skyrace and this one on Crib Goch showing the annoying blood on my wrist.

I was amazed to learn that I was 2nd Lady!


17th June - The week after going to Tyndrum I had volunteered on checkpoint support for the Summer Spine. I started at Hardraw on Monday morning and saw the Northern Challengers off on their race to Kirk Yetholm. Then I helped with the finishers of the Southern Spine before the full Spine runners starting arriving. I really like helping out and prefer it when we're busy. The conditions this year were very wet and also some quite heavy rain showers so quite a lot of runners were arriving cold and wet, and there were also more "dropouts" than last year. This meant that we had a variety of runners arriving all at the same time and for a while we were busy. There were Northern finishers, Northern DNF's, Spine DNF's and Spine runners. Once the main bulk of the DNF's had gone home then we were actually quite steady as the runners that had survived the weather came in small groups or singularly. This meant that it became very relaxed and I could get out with Wisp and Bruce twice a day, if not more. The weather improved and we were grateful for that - for us and for the runners.

On Tuesday evening I made my way to Bellingham and started up again. I was initially helping runners that I hadn't seen before but then all the runners that I had already helped at Hardraw started coming in. This is really special as you get to know people and can really help them in and out again. I left on Friday to head to Penrith to drop Wisp and Bruce with Emma Stuart, and then onto north Wales as I had entered the Snowdon Skyline on the Saturday. I arrived at 11pm in the rain and made sure I was in the hard standing campervan area. I slept really well considering I was on a right screw whiff angle having not wanted to maneuver about too much and disturb everyone. A few photos from Spine supporting There's one of me with two walkers and this is one evening I went for run and who should be on the Pennine Way but Celeste Hill who I used to go skydiving with when I was 20ish! What an amazing co-incidence!!


14th June - So I am back on track with my training for the Eiger E250 that I'm doing in July with Kirsty Hewitson which is pleasing. This Tuesday I met up with Keri at the foot of Ben More and we did a leg of the Tyndrum round - 26km with 3100m of ascent. I have been on these hills a couple of times and the weather has always been claggy and sometimes pretty ferocious. So I had been watching the weather and chose the best day of this week however there was supposed to be hail showers and there weren't!! We couldn't quite believe how good the weather was and had quite a relaxed few hours before Keri got off and I carried on with tired legs to go a few more! It was a cracking day out though! June Tyndrum recce

Today I went up Merrick on my way home from Newton Stewart and once again missed all the rain! (this won't last!). When I got home Steve was just pulling in with his birthday present to himself! Now that's going to keep him busy! 


10th June - Last Tuesday I supported Phil Anderson round the Ring of Fire. Phil had attempted in March as a winter round and I supported him on the third leg however he wanted to attempt again to do a Summer round and get a better time. The forecast changed from a High pressure to a Low pressure, cold and with rain in the morning and a strong WNW wind. We set off at 6am and the first leg went very quickly with us making time on the 19 hour schedule I had devised. However it started to rain heavily after a couple of hours and by the time we reached Dee bridge we were soaked. I was glad of some more shoes as my feet were sore and Martin had to help me change socks and shoes as my hands had got too cold. The leek and potato soup I had made was delicious and soon warmed me up, along with the climb of Darrou!! There wasn't much talking going on as the wind was too strong but at least the rain had stopped. Phil knew some good lines and the Rhinns of Kells also went quickly with me finding the King's Spring (complete with table and chairs) which was a welcome surprise as I was out of water. The sun was really shining down on us as we ran along the track and we disrobed our layers. Martin was once again waiting for us with soup and pizza. We were just about to set off when the clouds gathered , there was a crack of lightening and thunder and a heavy hail storm came across! We sheltered under the trees and in the car for a few minutes glad that we weren't on the hill. The track went ok. It's hard to know how much to push the pace and how much to let the food digest. Steve was meeting us at the bottom of Shiel Hill with the dogs (and more soup!). We saw him walking along the track to us and Paddy recognised us first and came bounding along to meet us. I do miss the dogs when I'm running without them.

Martin pulled in as we approached and so both Phil and I had refreshments. I was on Iron Bru, tea and soup by now! I sorted my rucksack out as I was carrying too much food. I had been really pleased with my stomach as I'd been a bit worried after Ramsay support and Skye so I had lots of proper food and minimized the sugar. Heading off up Shiel Hill Phil said his hips were hurting him. Mine were too and I think it was being blown about by the wind and struggling to walk in a straight line that had hurt them. We stayed on the schedule and maintained our advantage on the 19 hour schedule until Shallock on the Minnock where Phil couldn't run downhill anymore and we lost time on all the descents and then not surprisingly a lot coming all the way down Merrick to Bennan and then Brucee's Stone as it's a rough descent at the best of times. We finished in 19.22 hours. Two hours quicker than in March and in a lot worse weather. Everyone was very tired and very happy. Photos of March and June - Ring of Fire with Phil Anderson  


25th May - Steve and I (and the dogs) drove to Fort William with Steve to support Charlie Elliot on his Ramsay - it was great to get back to the big mountains and I took this photo at the top of the first climb up Sgurr Sgriodain. The weather was cold and a bit windy but perfect. I was supporting with Kirsty and Allan and we made good time to Loch Elide Mor. I then continued onto the Binneans but suddenly felt really tired, sick and needing proper food so I slowed right down. Kirsty ran with me and it was so lovely to meet Steve, with Paddy in the col and stop there! We walked down to the Glen together and waited for Charlie at the YHA. It's been a long time coming for Charlie with foot injury and bad weather cancellations so we were all determined this was going to be successful. And it was. Charlie finished in 23.45 hours.

After Fort William the plan was to drive to Skye, where I had entered Trotternish Ridge but I had a bout of food/water poisoning on route and although we still went to Skye I was struggling, the weather wasn't great and the midges were bad so we came home early and I recovered really well at home. Photos of Charlie Elliot on the Ramsay, walk the next day and a few of Skye

20th May - Rosie has been staying from Australia with her family for the week and it was lovely to show them round our house which is much improved since they were last here in 2019, spend some time on a beach in good weather (not warm enough for swimming), visit the Chocolate factory and generally have a great time before they headed to Ireland to see Ronnie's family there. Photos of family visit and Galloway MRT at the bottom of Shiel Hill    While they were here I had a quick drive up to the bottom of Shiel hill to support Galloway Mountain Rescue on their Ring of Fire attempt - details of their attempt is on

18th May - I had entered the Old County Tops with Kirsty Hewitson as practise for the which we are doing in July. Having had an awful Stuc a Chroin race I was pretty worried about how fit Kirsty weas compared to me! As the weekend got nearer I was also worried about the heat as it was forecast to be 20+C Kirsty was saying we needn't flog ourselves and that was reassuring. We set off comfortably however as soon as we started climbing I was sweating a lot, and it was only 8am! There was a bit of a breeze on Hellvelyn but down in the valley there was nothing. We had no idea of where we were and we weren't concerned about it either. Being Vet Ladies we would like that prize. Heading up towards Scafell I became more and more hot, I started to feel sick and my legs felt so heavy with even twinges of something going on. I explained all this to Kirsty and we slowed down a bit so I could breath. I knew I had to do something so I thought about dipping my cap in streams and then filling my water bottle up and squirting that at my face and neck. Oh it felt so nice! So on we went like that with me heading to any sort of water to fill one water bottle up which I would tip over me. At Angle Tarn the marshalls offered a bucket shower and tipped a whole bucket over my head!! Wow that felt good!! Onwards to Scafell we went knowing that there was only one mountain after that!

We headed off Scafell trying to remember the special lines that Jean Brown knows! We had both previously done the OCT with Jean and a lot of the conversation was around Jean on the day!! We're not sure we got the nice line off Scafell - we got down, but it was zigzagging down some banks of rock. We were sure the line was rubbish and we had been overtaken by hundreds of runners (as you always are when this happens). Running down Mosedale we spotted runners - and none that we had seen before but we had no idea whether that was good or bad. It was lovely to be running to Cockley Beck with only Coniston to do! We were told we were First ladies which surprised us! Heading off from the checkpoint more route discussions were had and we opted for the line that Kirsty knew. I really liked it as it was hard trail rather than soggy grass. I was getting hot again but just puffed my way to the top of the col and then had to rest as my breathing was out of control. However running over the contour path felt good. And we then came across runners that looked like I felt! Suddenly we thought we hadn't done so badly after all. Getting to the summit of Coniston we knew it was six miles back and all do able. Whether nine hours was was debatable but it didn't matter so long as we held onto First Ladies. We ran what we could and cooled down when we could. Moe route discussions about field or road and road was opted for. It was a good decision as it was quicker! Finishing was brilliant. All day we had been cursing some of the route and then saying what a wonderful route it was! We finished First Ladies in 9.09 hours and a new Vet Ladies record of about 50 minutes. Results - OCT-2024-results-for-publishing-v1.pdf  The next day I was at Inov-8 / Girls on Hills ladies social run from the Staveley store and I found the run hard but enjoyable. I was also speaking at Keswick Mountain Festival that weekend and we had a catch up meal of Paella (thanks Flora) with my Bruce's Crown team. We had a wonderful evening talking about the race and all manner of other things including Beth and Matt Bennet's new arrival Fern!  Photos of Old County Tops and the weekend

23rd April - About a month ago I realised I had a week free about my birthday and I was looking for something nice to do so I booked a holiday to Majorca from 23rd April for a week. Flights from Glasgow, a car and a nice room in a quiet town Caimari, at the foot of the mountains in the north. The weather was usually 20 to 26C so I planned a few hikes and a couple of days on the beach!.

We travelled there and found our room. It was very quirky but a lovely town with local bars as well as cafes catering for the thousands of cyclists that appeared there. We had no idea that the biggest race of the cnetury was being held on the island that coming weekend. The 250km. We spent the first day hiking a 10 mile hike that I had devised from the Cicerone book and my gps maps. The weather was hot and lovely and in hindsight we should have gone to the beach! That night it turned cold and it was only 7C overnight. The next day we hiked as well and it was clear but colder. Then we tried a day on the beach however thunderstorms had been brewing and while we were sat on the beach, getting up courage to swim in the icy sea, the black clouds came over and it began to rain! The next day we hiked again and by now I was getting the hang of which paths might be good trails and which might be tiny cairned trods heading directly across limestone rocks either up or down the mountains. I was quite pleased with my route making but sometimes I felt for Steve trying to follow me. The hikes always ended at the bar so that made up for a lot! We had also found a lovely restaurant in which we ate every night! Back to the beach in Porta Pollensa and this time the weather was even worse - proper rain coming down so we sat in a bar, had a couple of beers, had a very nice lunch surrounded by tired cyclists who had all done the race and headed back to our room! Overall it was a great holiday and I would go back again to the same town again and just hope for warmer weather! Photos of our Majorca holiday

20th April - I travelled to Arran with Bruce and Wisp for the Girls on Hills Arran weekend. We had great weather and a lovely group of ladies to take up onto the hills. Wisp and Bruce loved it too and it was Bruce's second visit to a pub where he almost behaved himself! Photos of Girls on Hills on Arran  





19th April - Two weeks on from the Bruce's Crown race and last weekend I had a Debrief meeting with Galloway MRT to go over what we could improve on for next year, the date of next year (4th/5th April 2025) and when to open entries (May 1st 2024!). I've been buzzing all week and reliving the event both from an Organisor and a runner. I wanted to write it up as a runner which I have done here Bruce's Crown 2024.html


11th April - As you can imagine the run up to Bruce's Crown race was manic with the organisation and me running in the race as well. I made two batches of soup, one batch of vegetable chilli and a hundred cakes !! The cakes were the usual Lemon Drizzle, Sultana and Orange drizzle and then a new one Chocolate and Orange Drizzle (which is the one I ate the most of in the race!).With Storm Kathleen forecast it was a very stressful time. We only had 9 teams entered, one "did not start" because of the weather and so that's still 32 runners that we're responsible for.

As I had hoped the remaining teams were all very well prepared, looked after themselves and made the right decisions about carrying on or retiring. Galloway MRT were brilliant in tracking, looking after us and dealing with the changing weather. They made the call about the low level route and looking back my best moment was summiting Tarfessock and realising that there was no-one at the cairn in the valley below therefore we were going over Merrick. I was so happy. It was daunting to do this but in reality we had experienced worse winds at lower levels and Merrick wasn't bad at all. That's Galloway for you.

Opentracking were brilliant - before, during and after the event - you can follow the race here

I've written it up from a RO point of view here

 I'm planning on writing it up from a runners perspective in my team which were the Four Tussockteers, with Emma Stuart, Kirsty Hewitson and Natalie Hawkrigg, and will put that on here this weekend  so check back here for that!



20th March - Where has March gone!? I was up at Fort William with Girls on Hills for one weekend and just took Wisp which she loved! We did some guided running on the Saturday to the Halfway lochan up Ben Nevis with winter skills included although all the snow of the week before had vanished! Then I was speaking in the evening which was interesting and entertaining. Sunday morning I was free to go on the mountains so Wisp and I headed up onto the Tyndrum round again. The same two Munros from Falloch Falls in clag and a very strong unpleasant wind. Not a pleasant summit time at all but a huge sense of achievement as we were descending and met walkers on their way up! Hannah from Girls on Hills took some lovely photos which I've added to the Gallery

Then last week I took a road trip south with both Wisp and Bruce (for my sins!). First call off was my friends in Mirfield, John and Helen and the dentist! Then Helen Elmore in Sheffield where I was talking at Hillborough Running Clun on Wednesday evening. That went extremely well and it was a great relaxing evening. On Thursday I headed south to Berkhamsted to visit Charlie, Carol and Lottie. Plus a venue for the FRA LiRF module course in Surrey on route to Devon to see my aunt Maggie. A couple of days spent there relaxing and watching Emily Cowper win the ladies race. Wisp is used to all this travelling but it was a first for Bruce and he was good overall! Lot's of "non Bruce" toys were moved overnight so he could sleep in the kitchens! By the end of the trip he was so used to hopping in and out of different vehicles and meeting people and dogs he was a chilled out little dog! But he has been King of his own castle since he's been home!! Gallery Family trip


7th March - Steve and I had a good day out on the Bruce's Crown route, running with Opentracking trackers checking the checkpoint locations are correct and where the dead spots are. I took ten hours to get from the Start to the bottom of Shiel Hill in 50km and Steve took 5 hours to get from Shiel Hill to the Finish at Caldons. The weather was claggy to start with which then cleared and became sunshine!! I love the Galloway hills when you can see right across the whole range, where you have been and where you're going! I have written up route notes on Bruces Crown website  and put lots of photos on the Gallery

29th February - I seem to have been non-stop recently with as my dad received the operation date he's been waiting for 12 months for and so I went to Glasgow to see him and spent a lovely couple of days keeping him company while he recovered. It was a TAVI to fix a valve in his heart that wasn't opening fully enough and he was excited at getting home and walking Monica the dog properly again.

Then home to organise the races for the last time since Mikey Brown from Dewsbury is going to be the new organisor from 2025 (in the blue jacket). The races went very well with loads of helpers as Mikey was there plus a few of his helpers. There was the right number of runners to have proper races but not too many to stress the organisation out! The sun nearly shone and everyone was in a good mood. Dave and Eileen Woodhead came and took loads of great photos as well as adding to the excitement of the day with their infectious enjoyment. Thank you to my special helpers over the years - Keith Holmes, Ian Charlesworth, Molly Charlesworth, Andy Plummer, Teresa and Nick Whittingham, Steve Sanders, Brent Lindsey, Helen Elmore who all give up a day (and a lot more in Keith's case) to help me make these races a success.

And onwards to - I've been out checking the course, cutting back where I can and making the route more obvious where forestry works have changed the layout on the ground. Organisation is coming on with donating prizes and being extremely helpful in answering questions about setting up maps and tracking. Steve and I are having a practice run next week to check for "dead spots" in mobile signal and I'll see if I can put that map up for people to follow us. Other than that it's all about food, checkpoints, etc etc. We don't have many teams entered (six paid up and two on the "Invited to pay" list) but we're going ahead as it's our first year and like Hoppits we know it will grow. If you are thinking of entering you could email me then we have a better idea of numbers on


20th February - Last week I travelled to Alston with Bruce and Wisp to meet Helen Elmore and Tim Rippon. We spent three days exploring new areas around the great Haggs Bank Bunkhouse which I discovered during the Spine reccies and it's just a great friendly hostel. I carried Bruce up Cross Fell which we did on the Tuesday in a cold wind but nothing like Spine conditions! Bruce was introduced to lots of things on this trip which was part of the reason for meeting up as I wanted him to learn about sleeping in the van, travelling, going to pubs, meeting people and dogs. We also got some lead practice and successfully negotiated a field of chickens! On Monday night we headed into Alston in search of a pub and all looked very quiet and closed but we spotted Turks Head Inn Alston just down from the co-op that was open and welcomed us and the dogs in. It really was the best "first" pub for Bruce and also a friendly pub for us and we spent both Monday and Tuesday evenings in there getting to know the owners and locals.  Selection of photos from me, Helen and Tim

Hoppits organisation is underway and I will be down on Friday 22nd to organise the races with Keith, Ian and Andy as usual. I will be passing this onto Dewsbury Runners from next year. This is my last year!!


10th February - Steve and I hiked up Merrick (well halfway up) with the dogs and Bruce in a rucksack. The weather was worse than forecast and we just checked the markings of the Merrick Hill race and then came back down to the warmth of the truck! More on and Photos

Bruce is growing well and my recovery has been a walk / jog round the rough land near Mark on a morning and then some gardening or outside work from 4pm onwards in order to get him outside again. I've taken him on some longer hikes by carrying him in the rucksack on my front which sometimes he agrees with and sometimes he doesn't! This week however I've been itching to do some more so tomorrow I might have a warm up with him and then a longer run with just Wisp and Paddy (which they will love!). I've been busy organising Hoppits races along with Keith and we've getting everything sorted now.


3rd January - A recce of Bruce's Crown up Shiel Hill this morning in what was supposed to be sunshine but was raining and windy! Bruce wasn't happy at being carried but there was no way he was climbing it on his own little legs! Photos    Organisation of the Hoppits Races is underway and many thanks to my helpers at Penistone Footpath Runners and Keith Holmes for agreeing to do yet one more year for me! See you all there on 25th February!

31st January - Bruce's Crown organisation is gathering momentum and to help me and other runners I went on a recce yesterday. I've written it up on the page . I wanted Bruce to come with us but he's too young to be doing so much and so I carried him in a rucksack up all the ascents and along the forest track at the end (much to his annoyance there!). He's just the opposite of Joss in every way so far apart from their love of descending at speed and stopping by doing a rolypoly!


28th January - so I have finished the Spine and written it up today! Spine Race 2024.html

After I finished I came home with Anna (a lady I coach from Denmark who had finished the Spine North) and spent a couple of days recovering and sleeping a lot. Then I travelled to the National Running Show and then did a talk at Mavern Joggers on the Monday night before driving home on the Tuesday. It all seems a long time ago now and I'm trying to recover by having lots of walks with Bruce! Recovery is going well and I really am looking forward to getting back in the mountains I have missed.

The Bruce's Crown race organisation is coming on well. Entries have opened and I'm having regular meetings with Galloway Mountain Rescue.

While at the National Running Show I was approached by Mikey from Dewsbury Road Runners and they are going to take Hoppits on and so I have been busy getting that off the ground for 2024!! I'm really pleased and happy that the races will continue.


11th January - I was hoping for a long post but the day has been busy with Bruce having vaccination at the vets in Girvan and Spine packing (of course!). So tomorrow we're heading to Sheffield for the Spine registration on Saturday, and the start of the Spine on Sunday at 8am. I've enjoyed training and reccying for this race all summer and autumn. All the reccies, bar the last one, I did with Joss and once I get to Standedge I will be reminded of him a lot on route. This will be good for me as with the arrival of Bruce (who is completely different to Joss) I can look forward to running with dogs again. Wisp of course is still running strongly (even the vet said she's in fine health!) so once I've recovered from the Spine I'll be back out with two dogs (and Paddy sometimes) on the hills.

Back to the Spine - I'm looking forward to getting going and using the first section to Hebden Bridge as a kit and food check. The weather is looking cold and snowy in places. Just what I like and I'm happy with my kit and clothes.  You can follow me on


9th January - I hope to update again this week with news of the Spine race which I start on Sunday. And also more photos of Bruce the puppy - growing and being a terror. But for now I'm just letting you know that the website has been updated with the Route and Rules. I'm having a meeting tomorrow night with Galloway MRT and hope to know when entries are opening very soon. We have the Scottish Hill Runners permit and Forestry, Land Scotland are in the process of granting the permissions. All exciting stuff.

1st January 2024 - technically and when I next update (maybe this week) this will be a new Diary. The main news being that I drove to the Lakes last week, avoiding the floods but having to drive through some deep water on route. I stayed in the campervan with Wisp and on Thursday morning we went for a short run in the storm and then collected Bruce at 10.30am. The drive back was ok and he settled in well. He's not Joss and his character is different. He seems so little and fragile and we're trying to keep one step ahead with the eating and anxiety. I will be glad when we have done a week. Wisp and Paddy are being tolerant except when he tries to play with them. I have uploaded the photos of the day I collected him and since he's been at Mark in the new Gallery 2024/Bruce 

Today I have managed to get the JAlbum working again. Every time I have a computer issue I end up starting a new Gallery as otherwise I have in the past over-ridden the old one with the new rather than adding more to the old. So a successful today and the sun was shining for once so Bruce was able to spend more time in the garden and is well on the way to house training himself!